No Place for Poker Face

When you're talking with a website design firm, do you feel like they're working on their poker face more than working on your account? If you're thinking about a new brand identity program, are you having a hard time getting straight answers about deliverables, cost, and scheduling? Maybe you'd just simply like to know who's going to be your customer service contact at the firm you've just hired.

Often times, you find out too late that the firm you thought you were hiring to support the growth of your business was simply playing a sneaky game of cards with you. If you're working with a firm and they can't come up with a fixed budget of time or dollars... don't walk RUN AWAY.

Top 3 Signs Your Firm is Hiding Cards

1. Inability to Ballpark Price.

If you're working with a professional, they should be able to give you a ballpark on a particular project or initiative. An expert can easily identify a $10,000 website or a $100,000 marketing campaign. Ballpark budgets are good planning tools, and should be shared between trusted collaborators.

2. Lack of Process

Does is seem like your firm doesn't know what it takes to get the project done? A firm worth it's salt will not be shy about sharing ideas on a proposed path to a solution, sure it may change. That's kind of the point. A confident organization will reveal part of its process as a discussion. This is a great way to start creative collaboration.

3. Dramatically Low Price on a Quote

Are you seeing a quote that is dramatically lower than expected? This is a common sneaky approach. Bid low, then submit an endless round of additional expenses. In the end, you'll wish you went with a more expensive upfront option.

Cards On The Table

If you are making these kinds of observations when talking with a marketing agency, website company, or design firm, take a step back. Look for a second opinion. You can find a group that isn't afraid to look you in the eye and have a direct, frank conversation. Chances are you'll be happy you did.